Sample Collection Information
For Public Water Systems
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) establishes the basic monitoring requirements for public water systems (PWSs). The EPA’s General Sampling Information website offers an array of guidance, from how-to-sample through reporting.
The New Mexico compliance database for PWS, Drinking Water Watch, tracks the sampling plans (sites and schedules) for every New Mexico PWS.
PWSs must submit their water samples to a laboratory that is certified by the New Mexico Environment Department. In order for water analysis fees to be paid by the State of New Mexico, the certified lab must have a contract with the State of New Mexico.
Samples submitted to labs that do not meet compliance schedule requirements will not be paid for by the State of New Mexico:
- samples collected at the wrong time of year
- samples collected outside of the scheduled monitoring period
Water samples must be submitted properly to a laboratory to be accepted for analysis. Sample rejection reasons include:
- improper collection or preservation
- incomplete information on the sample request form
- Chain of Custody not signed and dated by the sample collector
- damage to the sample during transport
Contract labs should allow 24 hours to correct issues with sample request forms.
The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) Drinking Water Bureau (DWB) provides the Samplers Application, a resource that provides sample schedules and forms. Access is through the NMED Secure Extranet Portal (SEP), which requires an application for a log-in and password.
DWB compliance officers monitor sample results and may nominate a PWS for a waiver from the some chemical monitoring requirements, for specific monitoring periods. Please contact Tim Willy (575) 762-3728) if you have questions about waivers.
The DWB provides general written guidance as a reference for sample collection: